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  • A conflict of interest (COI) is defined as the presence of a risk for an undue influence on primary goals due to a secondary goal such as financial gain. Individuals must understand that the mere presence of the risk, and not the actual occurrence of the undue influence, constitutes a potential COI.

  • In biomedical research, COI policies protect human subjects and research integrity while preserving public trust. Damage caused by actual research misconduct is severe and creates wide and long-lasting public mistrust. Thus, individuals should not view COI policies as burdensome and instead should consider them as preventative strategies that protect them from broader repercussions after a concern for research bias has been raised.

  • The disclosure of individual financial relationships is a critical but limited first step in the process of identifying and managing COIs.

  • The presence and severity of a COI in an individual’s disclosure are assessed by the insti­tution’s COI committee to determine appropriate strategies for the management of the COI, such as the need for more specific disclosure information, restriction of the individual’s role in the research, or even, in some circumstances, the elimination of a conflicting relationship.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.